Santa Fe is viewed by many as at the epicenter of red or green chile – chile stews of both colors and made with chicken, pork, beef, or whatever – along with posole, and carne adobado. There is also the ubiquitous green chile cheeseburger which causes big disagreements about who cooks the best. At the same time good barbecue is hard to find. Texan tourists certainly agree with that! Josh’s Barbecue was one of the few oases in the desert even though it was tucked away in a hard-to-find strip mall.
The bad news is that Josh’s has closed. The good news is that the Ranch House has opened. This is Josh’s new venue located at 2571 Cristos Road in a beautiful new building complete with great views of the mountains and spacious courtyards for outside dining in warmer weather. The old-time favorites are still on the menu, but there are some new and interesting additions. There are several dining rooms inside, so don’t be put off by a full parking lot, because you will probably be seated quickly and served by one of the attentive staff.
The day we visited for lunch, the place was busy but not crowded. Susan chose the baby back rib plate, and I chose the green chile chopped brisket sandwich – a new experience for me. The ribs came with real Southern greens and cornbread with just enough sugar to compromise between Yankees who like sugar and Southerners who don’t. The sandwich was good, too, although I think I prefer either a classic chopped brisket sandwich or an authentic green chile cheeseburger. For me, the highlight of the meal was the little fry basket filled with crispy sweet potato fries.
The drink selection was good though limited. Lots of beers of course, and wine (who drinks wine with barbecue?) The specialty drinks sounded good, and the pineapple margarita was a hit.
The Ranch House is definitely worth checking out if you are a barbecue fan. And who isn’t?